U.S. equities cheered the Friday morning news that headline unemployment has ticked down for the first time in quite a while from 10.2% to 10% last month. An estimated 11,000 positions were cut by employers, which on the face of it is the best result in two years.
However, we hate to be a wet blanket, but after further investigation the number is still not a bullish sign to us just yet. A closer reading of the data shows that the 376,000 more workers that last year are not counted in this statistic because they have become discouraged and stopped looking for work. For more detail, please watch this great explanation of how the labor statistics can be manipulated to look better than they otherwise should. It may still be sometime before the economy can start to create jobs and absorb some of the joblessness.